Reply To: The Away Message

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  • Markshire PCs:

Allright then….. Sit ye children, and I will tell you the story of Phil and Lil, who now reside in our home.

*Settles in for a looong story*

My wife used to work at a children’s day care center, as an assistant (cleaning the rooms, picking up after the kids, etc.). One Christmas, she found out that these two turtles were going to be left through the holidays with no care, because the teacher didn’t want them anymore, and the teacher figured they’d die over the holiday, saving her the trouble of getting rid of them. (No comments on the teacher, I don’t know who she is, and it doesn’t matter anyway).

So, my wife brought them home, and we cleaned their tank (they are red-eared sliders, a water turtle). The kids had named them Phil and Lil after the Rugrats. The started off about 4 inches long each, and they were both about the same size when we got them.

5 Years and a couple thousand dollars later in tanks, food, filters, and other assorted stuff, She is now more than a FOOT long, and he’s about 7-8 inches. They both have separate tanks, because Phil likes Lil so much he bites her neck to “get some” to the point he would have killed her. BTW, people talk about horses, but they have nothing on turtles. He’s “equipped” and if you have ever seen a male turtle happy, you know why. Imagine how far with the shells he has to “reach” – well he makes it with some to spare! Also, let’s talk a bit about the eggs. Females have to lay eggs. They can hold them (for years, sometimes), but eventually, they have to lay them. I can’t even tell you the crazy things we’ve had to do to get her to lay her eggs. This is because if she doesn’t, they could bind up her insides, and kill her. We’ve had pond inserts full of sand and water (read – MUD) in our dining room, you name it.

And the mess – can I tell you about the mess? They are FILTHY animals. We have them in two separate 30 gallon tanks, and within a week or two we have to clean them – Take the turtles out of the tank, drain the disgusting, smelly water, thoroughly rinse out the tank, replace the filter and then put everthing back, including the rocks. Yes, rocks. Turtles like to sun themselves, and they need areas above water to do it. So, the tanks are only 1/2 full of water, with structures inside to let them climb out of the water and sun.

The wife is now at the point that she wants to give them away, because she is sooooo tired of the stink and the mess, but I know that if we do, they’ll be dead or abandoned almost immediately. And they are NOT a short term commitment. On our refrigerator is a clipping from a newspaper about “Tiger”. Tiger is a red-eared slider, just like ours. His parents gave it to their son when he was eight. He’s now 47, and Tiger is doing just fine, thank you.

So, that’s why I’ll be AFK, because I’m cleaning the turtles!